The Gulf region is “on the edge of collapse,” warned Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sept. 25 during his United Nations General Assembly speech.
“Our response to any negotiations under sanctions is in negative,” he also said amid escalating tensions between Washington and Tehran, according to the state-run Tasnim news agency.
“Our region is on the edge of collapse, as a single blunder can fuel a big fire,” Rouhani told the assembly in New York City. “We shall not tolerate the provocative intervention of foreigners. We shall respond decisively and strongly to any sort of transgression to and violation of our security and territorial integrity.”
“The Iranian nation will never ever forget and forgive these crimes,” Rouhani also warned.
Then he called for a “better future” instead of violence and war in the region.
“After four decades of failure, it is time for Iran’s leaders to step forward and to stop threatening other countries and focus on building up their own country. America is ready to embrace friendship with all who genuinely seek peace and respect,” Trump also said. “Many of America’s closest friends today were once our gravest foes. The U.S. has never believed in permanent enemies.”
Since withdrawing from the 2015 Iran deal brokered under former President Barack Obama, the Trump administration has levied heavy sanctions on the Iranian regime.
Rouhani’s U.N. remarks come about a week after attacks on Saudi Arabian oil production facilities, for which the United States has blamed Iran. The regime has denied allegations made by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and other officials.
Rouhani said earlier this week that “if they really favor regional security, they must stay away from the region, because their presence has always been a predicament and burden on the region,” according to Tasnim.
Sanctions on Chinese Entities
Meanwhile, the United States is imposing new sanctions on certain Chinese entities and people who it accuses of knowingly transferring oil from Iran in violation of Washington’s curbs on Tehran, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Sept. 25.
The U.S. Treasury Department announced that it placing sanctions on five Chinese nationals and six entities, including two Cosco Shipping Corporation subsidiaries.
“And we are telling China, and all nations: know that we will sanction every violation,” Pompeo said at a conference on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Attacks on Sept. 14 on the oil facilities of Saudi Arabia, widely blamed on Iran, have rattled the Middle East and raised concerns about a broader war. Iran denies involvement.
Reuters contributed to this report.